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Le Lion et Le Rat

Les Fables à La Fontaine

Le Lion et Le Rat

Les Fables à La Fontaine

Le lion et le rat

From 2001 to 2008, La Petite Fabrique, an independent production company directed by Annie Sellem, developed an original project : asking choreographers from different backgrounds to create short pieces loosely based on La Fontaine's “Fables”.

Twelve short tales in varying styles, ranging from hip-hop to classical, were assembled. In their use of language, they are equally suitable for a family audience as for a knowledgeable audience. They rely heavily on a mix of disciplines and artistic diversity: there is a crossover of cultures, music and rhythms. The moral of each fable is treated lightly, with poetry and plenty of humour.

As Annie Sellem explains, “The choreographers' work may be read on many levels: I think they drew upon their childhood to some extent, as every piece is as just as funny as the child's world, and just as serious, too.”

Dominique Bovin has chosen the fable “The Lion and the Rat”.

"We always need there to be someone smaller than we are, but perhaps also more wretched, unworthy, repulsive, or then again, more adorable, distinguished, magical… and way beyond any moral, there is no doubt that this lesson is worth a tribute!”

Boivin, Dominique

Dominique Boivin followed a classical training before turning to contemporary dance. Carolyn Carlson and the dancers of the GRCOP (Choreographic Research Group of the Paris Opera) introduced him to the teaching of Alwin Nikolais. His first piece, “Quelle fut ta soif?”, won the Humour Prize at the Bagnolet Contest in 1978. In the summer of 1979 he created the solo “L'homme cheval” for the Avignon Festival, which consists of minute, mathematically-orchestrated gestures. In 1979 he obtained a bursary to study in New York for a year, where he trained with Merce Cunningham, Douglas Dunn, Lucinda Childs and Meg Harper.

When he was invited to join the company of the CNDC (National Centre for Contemporary Dance), Angers, directed at the time by Alwin Nikolais, he met many of the dancers with whom he went on to form the Beau Geste company in 1981.

Dominique Boivin danced with a number of companies (Grand Magasin / P. Murtin, F. Hiffler, DCA/P. Decouflé, Astrakan/ D. Larrieu) in between choreographing his own works: "Belles de Nuit“ in 1991, “Carmen” in 1992, “La Belle Etoile” in 1993, “Cabaret Pataphysique” (Pataphysical Cabaret) in 1993. His solo “La danse, une histoire à ma façon...“ (Dance – a history told my way) from 1994, revived in 2000, is a brilliant presentation of the culture of subtle gesture which underpins his choreography. He has choreographed for the operas “Orphée aux Enfers” in Geneva (1997) and "Les Amours de Bastien et Bastienne” in Rouen and Paris (2002), as well as a reworking of the ballet “The Nutcracker” for the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon (2001). At the same time, he continued composing for the Beau Geste company: "Petites histoires au-dessus du ciel” in 1996, “Conte sur Moi” in 2000 and “Miniatures de l'Émoi” in 2003.

He collaborated with La Petite Fabrique to choreograph the duet “The Lion and The Rat” as part of the “Les Fables à La Fontaine” project in 2002 and with the Non de Nom/Pascale Houbin company, with whom he composed “Bonté Divine” in 2003 and "Ni d'Ève, ni d'Adam” in 2007.

He ventured into street theatre with the composition of “Transports Exceptionnels” in 2005, a duet for a dancer and a mechanical digger, then, in the same year, he explored the relationship between dance and theatre in "À quoi tu penses?”, using monologues by the writer Marie Nimier.

Further information

Digital resource by the Médiathèque du Centre national de la danse

Company website
Beau Geste

Last update : November 2010

Picq, Charles

Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
   On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.

His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
       - He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
       - He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
       - He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
       - He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.

       - He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.

His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.

He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).

Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon

La Petite Fabrique

Annie Sellem created La Petite Fabrique in 2001, at the same time as she was designing les Fables à la Fontaine project.
La Petite Fabrique, a small independent production house, has set itself the task of creating a unifying project by networking artists, producers and presenters at regional, national and international level, for a young audience in the morning then a family audience in the evening. Creating small, short pieces with multiple aesthetics, ranging from hip-hop to classic swaying, such is the project initiated by Annie Sellem. Each piece, lasting fifteen to twenty minutes, can be performed in isolation and, combined with two or three others, make up an evening. Each piece can be played outside, in a bandstand in a public garden, in the shade of a wash house, in a schoolyard ... 


Le lion et le rat

Choreography : Dominique Boivin

Interpretation : le rat Christine Corday le lion Olivier Dubois

Set design : Goury

Original music : Jean-Marc Toillon

Lights : Éric Lamy

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : La Petite Fabrique

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse de Lyon - Charles Picq, 2004

Duration : 18 minutes

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